Start by making an appointment with your family doctor or a general practitioner if you have signs and symptoms that worry you.
If Hurthle cell cancer is suspected, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating thyroid disorders (endocrinologist) or a doctor who specializes in treating cancer (oncologist).
Because appointments can be brief, it's often helpful to arrive well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
- Make a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements.
- Gather information about your family health history, including thyroid diseases and other diseases that run in your family.
- Ask a relative or friend to accompany you to help you remember what the doctor says.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms? Are there other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do they require any special preparation?
- What treatments are available, and what side effects can I expect?
- What's my prognosis?
- How often will I need follow-up visits after I finish treatment?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may make time to go over points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked:
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- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms? Have they been continuous or occasional?
- Have your symptoms gotten worse?
- Do you have a personal or family history of cancer? What type?
- Have you ever received radiation treatments to the head or neck area?
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- Thyroid carcinoma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Sept. 17, 2014.
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- AskMayoExpert. What are differentiated thyroid cancers (DTCs)? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Revised American Thyroid Association management guidelines for patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. Falls Church, Va.: American Thyroid Association. http://thyroidguidelines.net/revised/taskforce. Accessed Sept. 17, 2014.
- Tuttle RM. Differentiated thyroid cancer: Radioiodine treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2014.
- What you need to know about thyroid cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/thyroid. Accessed Nov. 11, 2014.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 15, 2014.